It’s not easy to diet successfully and maintain a healthy diet. As more and more people have embraced the need to eat healthily, companies and marketers have produced a huge variety of foods, all of which claim to offer health benefits. Seeing the prospect of big sales from low fat goods, food producers have turned everything from yogurts to cereal bars into versions emptied of fats. That’s a good thing, right?
Well, it’s certainly hard to diet these days without eating a great deal of low fat food. Where would most of us be without our low fat ready meals or snacks? When we used to reach for Kit Kats or Mars bars, now we can have delicious low fat Alpen bars – promising the goodness of our favourite breakfast cereals reduced to a healthy small-scale alternative. If these bars only contained cereals and fruit, then that might not be a problem, but then they would not be as appealing to our taste buds. Instead, producers are tending to lace their goods with added sugars with very small fruit portions and high dosages of vegetable oils. Astonishingly, this means that a standard Cadbury’s Flake bar contains less calories than a supposedly healthy fruit bar, hardly the solution to our fat-busting needs.
This is backed up by a recent health survey by the respected consumer group Which? who found that cereal bars are laden with sugar. (and freighted with irony). Some cereal bars could be compared to a can of Coke, with their sugar content, while roasted nut bars like Tracker can contain 30 percent fat. And if you are looking to boost the health of your children, think again. Food companies seem to have increased the sugar content of bars marketed at kids, with one Monster Puffs bar containing a whopping 43 percent sugar.
Even if cereal bars like this can reduce calorie intake by reducing fat consumption, the added sugars present some potentially devastating health impacts that dieters should know about. High sugar diets have been linked by medical researchers to increased incidence of Type-2 Diabetes, even in patients who are not obese in any way. Type-2 Diabetes is a chronic condition which leads to intense fatigue, vision problems, increased urination at night and general weakness. It’s not much fun, and by upping your intake of high sugar cereal bars, you could be raising your risks of contracting it.
Health suppliers are starting to take note and take a different approach, the audience is actually becoming more savvy and less predictable – transparency is now the key to future success. Mixing a commitment to dieting with an awareness of the health dangers from sugar, they are pioneering healthy snacks which promote weight loss without the pitfalls. And with all of us reaching for the snack cupboard every now and then, this can only be a more positive experience.